The Main Kopetdag fault (MKDF) of Turkmenistan is a key tectonic feature within the active tectonics of the Arabia-Eurasia continental collision and the geodynamics of the South Caspian basin. The fault runs along the edge of the Kopetdag (or Kopeh Dagh) mountains, which form the northern margin of the Arabia-Eurasia collision zone. The tectonics are complicated by proximity to the South Caspian Basin, which is an enigmatic ‘block’, filled with up to 20 km of Cenozoic sediment, and possibly floored by oceanic crust of Mesozoic age. The South Caspian is moving relative to its surroundings, with a roughly northwest motion relative to Eurasia that introduces oblique right-lateral and shortening components across the western Kopetdag. The lateral component decreases eastwards as the influence of the Caspian diminishes, and the Kopetdag instead accommodates Arabia-Eurasia shortening.
The South Caspian Basin (SCB) is an aseismic block that moves independently to its surroundings. Together with the Arabia-Eurasia collision, it controls the active tectonics of Turkmenistan. The directions, rates, and rotation poles of the SCB relative to Iran and Eurasia are not well resolved. In a new paper recently published in TECTONICS, we constrain the motion of the SCB by measuring the slip rate of the Main Kopeh Dagh Fault (MKDF) in Turkmenistan. Here’s what we found:
On 25 October, 2021, Richard Walker from the University of Oxford gave the fourth talk of our lecture series on the tectonics of Central Asia. The topic was “Active Faulting, earthquakes, and geomorphology of the Main Kopeh Dagh Fault, Turkmenistan. The talk was presented on 2021-10-25.” . In case you missed Richard’s presentation, here’s the video.
Watch this space for future talks, always on the last Monday of every second month, and follow us on Twitter for updates: https://twitter.com/QuakesCentAsia